Friday, December 21, 2007

An Urban Epic - Omloop Het Volk

Wow! I didn't think it was possible to have such an epic run on my beater loop. I have this standard route from my house that I can take through two parks then do 2 mile loops around the perimeter of Sugarhouse park. I'm not very fond of this route but, when I'm strapped for time I can get a few miles in with minimal pavement. Right after I got home from work I headed out the door at 4:30, dressed in shorts and a long sleeve shirt. It was pretty windy and the temperature was a comfortable 40 degrees or so. Man, did that change in a hurry.
The storm front (from
As I was completing the first loop around the park I could see the storm was coming but I knew I had at least 15 to 20 minutes before it would hit so I decided to do another loop. I made it about 1 mile to the far east end of the park and the storm had arrived. It was obviously moving a lot faster and packing a bigger punch than I had originally thought. Almost immediately the wind changed direction, the temperature started falling and then the marble sized hail started. I laughed out loud thinking that rain or snow is one thing but hail, come on, are you kidding me? I picked up my pace as my quads turned to blocks of ice. The path that was wet grass just 10 minutes earlier was now covered in hail stones. I ended up running faster than I had intended but I had some extra motivation fueling my pace. The hail stones felt like hundreds of little needles against my wet legs. The fun part was over but I have to admit it was still exhilarating. I made way through the streets to Fairmont and it seemed like the worst was over when the lightening started. Once again I increased my pace as the sky lit up around me. I figured that if I kept moving I would at least stay relatively warm and I was right. The only nagging issue I have from that run is some sore quads from the quick pace. I think I'll head out for some nordic action this weekend on the fresh snow, before the family heads up to Solitude on Christmas day.
As for the Omloop Het Volk reference in the title, I know someone out there remembers a similar epic on 2 wheels. You'd think I would learn my lesson...

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Brian Beckstead said...

I was running during that storm as well. Crazy!
Hey, I was wondering about the Devils Backbone 50. I'm thinking of doing it this year and I want some info. Worth it? When does it fill up? etc Let me know and have fun running

Christian said...

The Devils Backbone is definitely worth the trip. Tom is an ultra runner himself and really does it right. This last year it filled up sometime in May, which was a first. It is still probably one of the most scenic runs I've ever done, because you can't even see civilization. Take a lot of water, I'm pretty sure that was what caused my problem (see the post about the race). One other thing, it measured about 46 instead of 50 by my GPS. Route finding isn't terribly difficult but i was thankful I was with someone that had been on the the trail before. Big climb to start, pretty much little ups and downs after that. Somewhere around 10,000 vert at elevation (10,000 ft). If you go you will definitely be a contender.